Discretionary Council Tax Relief (DCTR)

Support for residents who are liable to pay Council Tax and are experiencing financial hardship.

Discretionary Hardship Support Policy (PDF, 385.46 KB)

If you're struggling to pay your Council Tax, you may be eligible for Discretionary Council Tax relief (DCTR) if you have a current liability to pay Council Tax in this borough.

DCTR is made from a separate fund with a limited budget, is fully funded by the council and is a short-term measure to help those in difficult circumstances get back on track.

The purpose of DCTR is to relieve people in particular need of the requirement to meet all, or part of, their liability to pay the Council Tax.

Council Tax is a priority debt; residents are therefore obliged to treat their liability as taking precedence over personal expenditure not related to the cost of living including credit cards, loans, vehicle expenses, social and leisure costs.

Support may be provided against

  • Council Tax arrears
  • ongoing Council Tax costs (emergency circumstances with no affordability)

The Council Welfare service currently administers and operates three discretionary funding schemes of which there is one online application form for all schemes:

  • Discretionary Council Tax Relief Scheme (DCTR)
  • Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)
  • Household Support Fund (HSF)

Applications for all discretionary funding schemes must be made online and we will only consider your application against each scheme that you apply for. Evidence must be uploaded before submitting the application online. The online application can also be treated as a claim for Council Tax Support and Free School Meals where there is eligibility and entitlement unless you do not wish to receive these additional benefits. 

If you are unable to make a claim online, then support to complete forms is also available from the Council’s digital champions volunteers who are available at local libraries and community HUBS. 

The Homes and Money Hub may also be available to provide support on making an application if the criteria is met.

You must give authority to act to anyone completing an application on your behalf.

Our outreach visiting service can support to make an application only if the following circumstances apply:

  • the applicant is disabled and
  • is unable to leave the home as a result of that disability and
  • is unable to complete the claim as a result of that disability and
  • no family member, friend or other suitable person is available to assist the applicant
  • has any other legitimate barrier to the completion of an application requiring support 

If all of the above apply, then please email visitingandwelfareemails@lbbd.gov.uk you’re your contact details and details of which scheme that you wish to apply for and reasons for applying. 

The level of payment will be decided by the Council. The schemes are discretionary, and the claimant does not have a statutory right to payment or appeal however if requested we will review the decision unless your application was submitted without the required evidence or you have had a previous award within 6 months and do not declare it or you have no extenuating circumstances. 

If Discretionary funding is awarded, we may provide budgeting advice and work with you the customer and develop an action plan to move towards your affordable long-term solution.